Coronavirus pushes B2B beauty to go digital

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Thinkhubstudio)
© Getty Images \ (Thinkhubstudio)

Related tags coronavirus digital B2B

With nearly every 2020 cosmetic and personal care tradeshow canceled or postponed, beauty industry suppliers are taking ingredient launches, technical seminars, branded content, and much more online to keep business moving.

On the whole, business-to-business companies that serve the cosmetics and personal care industry have been slow to adopt customer-facing digital platforms and technologies.

Of course by the start of 2020, nearly every ingredient supplier and distributor set to exhibit at tradeshows like in-cosmetics global, Cosmoprof, and the NYSCC Suppliers Day event had robust websites, many with their own in-house blogs or vlogs; and most had even expanded communications, marketing, and sales strategies in recent years to include some sort of presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn.

Still, this month’s uptick in webinars, online ingredient launch events, technical seminars, and digital resource center openings has been remarkable.

Beauty suppliers are launching ingredients at virtual events

Hundreds of new cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance ingredients hit the market every year in April, when the in-cosmetics global tradeshow brings the industry together. This year’s in-cosmetics global show has of course been postponed.

Still many ingredient launches are taking place as scheduled. Clariant, for example, is hosting a 40-minute online event tomorrow, April 1, to share news and insights on the company’s new ingredient launches​ as well as on the formulation trends the Clariant team is following closely just now.

Online education for cosmetic chemists

Until now, a majority of the online education for cosmetic scientists came from institutions of higher education like the University of Cincinnati or from independent specialty educational platforms such as Formula Botanica and Chemists Corner.

But this month numerous specialty chemical companies and ingredient suppliers have announced their own

Not to train aspiring cosmetic scientists but rather to get, R&D pros, working formulators, process engineers, and other insiders up-to-date on the latest ingredient technology and product prototypes.

Now ingredient suppliers like DSM have introduced online learning platforms and content for their current and perhaps future customers. In a media release announcing a first webinar on skin hygiene, Stephen Wood, Head of DSM’s North American Personal Care and Aroma Ingredients business talks about the why online learning is the right move: “We have seen a tremendous increase in the amount of inquiries for market insights and ingredient data clearly linked to addressing growing consumer needs,”​ says Wood.

“Our customers’ product development teams are actively working to create new products in line with shifting consumer expectations,” ​he says, adding that, “Our e-learning offerings will be in line with these shifts, providing consumer and market insights, and new product development solutions where DSM is uniquely enabled to support our customers.” Find out more about the first of DSM’s online learning programing here.

And suppliers have taken other sorts of technical trainings digital lately too. Solabia Group, for instance, is hosting a distributor training event online this Thursday, April 2. Interested distributors can get access to the event from their Solabia sales manager, according to a post the company made on LinkedIn.

Digital resource centers

And online resource centers, particularly focused at helping beauty businesses get the information they need during the Coronavirus health and financial crisis, have been launching this month as well.

The Indie Beauty Media Group (IBMG) launched #BeautyUnites early last week, as Cosmetics Design reported.​ The #BeautyUnites resource center offers indie brand leaders free news and information meant to keep them informed and inspired during the crisis.  

And publications like SalonToday​ and organizations like America’s Beauty Show​ have pulled together lists of links to help their respective professional beauty communities manage during the pandemic.



Deanna Utroske writes regularly about beauty tech and digital innovation in the cosmetics and personal care industry.​ She is a leading voice in the industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. Find out more on the industry’s latest responses and resilience in the face of COVID-19 in this recent #duviews video.​ 

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